Big Cat Rescue VR
Available for FREE in the Oculus store for Oculus Rift
Beginning Thursday June 25th, 2020 @ 10AM Pacific Time
Did you know the tiger could go extinct in the wild, in YOUR lifetime? It’s not too late to save them! Become a wildcat tracker assistant and learn how to find and protect tigers in the wild.
Assist in the search of a missing tiger through a guided forest experience with a Big Cat Rescue tracker named Jamie.
Learn about the different ways to spot a tiger by looking for paw prints, scrape marks on trees, cat scat and the sounds of their prey. Perfect your tracking skills with every new clue you find.
Find and rescue a tiger who has been snared by poachers by sedating her while learning all about the veterinary process involved. Release the tiger back into the wild to see what her life is all about.
When you return to the ranger station you will discover how you can stop tiger farming and poaching in the real world. You can select this experience to play in either English or Spanish.
Big Cat Rescue has led the way in eliminating the need for captivity of exotic cats by launching the world’s first and second Augmented Reality zoos, first in Tampa and then in Plantation, FL. The mission of Big Cat Rescue’s founder, Carole Baskin, has been to end the trade in big cats as pets, props and parts. Baskin became a household name after the Netflix series, Tiger King Murder, Mayhem and Madness invaded 64 million households during the first wave of COVID-19 that was holding the world hostage. Unfortunately the series dwelt mostly on the personalities of the characters and failed miserably at conveying the real issues of the the abuse inherent in breeding tigers, lions, ligers and other big cats for entertainment thinly veiled as conservation.
The Big Cat Rescue VR experience is the first virtual reality game where the player learns about the plight of the tiger in the wild, which is made worse by captive breeding and exploiting of their cubs. The player takes an active role in discovering what has happened to the missing tiger Jasmine and what they can do to help her and all other wildcats.
LEARNING AND GAME OBJECTIVES
Learn about the different ways to find a tiger in the forest.
Learn about the process of rescuing and releasing captured tigers into the wild.
Learn about tiger extinction causes and ways to stop tiger farming.
Carole Baskin says, “I am so thankful to the team at Xennial Digital for bringing this dream to life. In January of 2019 I hired a developer to prove to myself and to the zoo community that it is much more engaging to learn about wild cats, in a virtual reality setting than to see them languishing in cages.” The first attempt at creating an educational game for Quest failed, but after meeting the Xennial Digital team at the Synapse Summit 2020, they quickly got the Rift version into the Oculus store.
“At Xennial we have a passion for creating immersive experiences that bring value to humanity, that’s why a good portion of our work is focused on education and social impact. We truly enjoyed collaborating with Carole on bringing her vision to life, because the Big Cat Rescue VR Tiger Game is very aligned to our mission-driven philosophy.” – Douglas Fajardo CEO / CXO @ Xennial Digital
“We wanted to offer this experience for free in the hopes that schools, libraries, civic centers, zoos and individuals, could have access to the game. We are hoping to make it available on Oculus Quest, so that it can reach more people,” says Baskin. The technical work has all been done. The team is just waiting for approval from Oculus at this time. Meanwhile you can check out hundreds of videos of exotic cats in 360 degrees and in 3D at http://youtube.com/360bigcats and new ones are added weekly. “Our end goal with these videos is to drive the technology forward to the point that future videos are all captured from remote, motion sensor, Internet connected cameras in the wild. That way people can learn how each animal has a role in our collective survival and that will lead us to protecting wild places,” says Carole Baskin.
LENGTH OF GAME PLAY
We expect the user to go through the experience in 10 – 15 minutes following the guided process. However, the user has the freedom to explore around the forest, which will increase the length based on the user’s preference.
This experience is free to the public on Oculus Rift. We hope that it will be so popular that the Oculus Quest version will be added to the Oculus store. The app is available on Steam for all headsets.
CONTENT PLAN AFTER RELEASE
Big Cat Rescue had planned to include additional exotic cats and new languages. Big Cat Rescue VR updates might have allowed users to enter new areas where endangered species live, such as a jaguar jungle, where users will be able to immerse themselves and visualize the impact on these species, in their selected language. “We lived in a different world when we started this process,” says Baskin; going on to say, “We had the tour revenue that funded the initial game and were hoping to have it fund subsequent species to be added. Now, due to the negative impact from the mischaracterization of the sanctuary in Tiger King, and the social distancing required by COVID-19, we don’t know if we will ever be able to return to offering our guided tours of the sanctuary.”
These global changes have made learning tools like Big Cat Rescue VR even more necessary as students are being taught from home without access to the portable VR labs that were becoming more popular for schools and events. For the cost of feeding and caring for four tigers, for one year, virtual exotic animal experiences are a one time investment that can yield untold returns for zoos and educators who are trying to instill an appreciation of wildlife and nature.
PLANNED RELEASE TO THE OCULUS QUEST AND STEAM
The app is now available on Steam and at most VR Arcades via SpringboardVR. Big Cat Rescue VR will make use of Oculus Quest’s untethered nature to allow its users to immerse themselves in an environment they would most likely never experience. Big Cat Rescue VR allows users to explore a forest and come into close contact with wild animals, without hurting their habitat or promoting practices that are causing their extinction.
Whether the user has a small or large play area, Big Cat Rescue VR gives them the opportunity to learn about these animals without negatively impacting them, while giving people the experience of a lifetime. The portability of the Oculus Quest allows for a seamless and easy experience at events, expos, schools, colleges, homes and entertainment venues.
XENNIAL DIGITAL’S EXPERIENCE
Xennial Digital has extensive experience in XR development. We’ve created AR, VR, and MR multi-language experiences for a number of important educational institutions, including the University of Miami (US) and Universidad del Rosario (Colombia). We also develop enterprise level VR training solutions for clients such as The Nature Conservancy, Celebrity Cruises, Global Cement Company Argos and telecommunications giant Claro US, to name a few. Xennial was also selected as one of only 33 agencies across the globe to receive a grant as an independent content creator from Magic Leap, for our Climate Change Educational experience.
INVESTMENT OF TIME AND RESOURCES INTO BUILDING THIS EXPERIENCE
Managing, Design + Production — 1 FTE for 2 wks.
1 Creative Director / Producer / UX/UI Designer
Art + Content Creation — 2.0 FTE for 2 wks.
1 3D/Environment Artist
Programming — 2.0 FTE for 2 mo.
1 Lead Engineer
1 Senior Programmer
Music + Sound — 1.0 FTE for 2 wks.
1 Sound Designer
1 FTE = 40 man month hours
Approx. Team Size: 5 FTEs
Minimal Monthly Burn Rate: TBD
BIG CAT RESCUE VR TEAM MAKEUP
Aura Franco – Producer
Alejandro Rodriguez – UI/UX Director
Boris Ramirez – Technical Architect
Jonathan Rincón – Developer
David Silva – 3D Modeler
Angie Ferreira – Designer
Nicolas Mocoso – Sound Designer
Big Cat Rescue and Carole Baskin – Publisher
ENVISIONING THE VR INTERACTIVE HERO JOURNEY
See video at top of page.